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tv   The Journal Editorial Report  FOX News  April 13, 2014 12:00pm-12:31pm PDT

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night, they stay in a small carriage howe house on the grounds. that's it for the day, see you next week on "fox news sunday." in week on "the journal editorial report." new evidence emerges in the irs targeting scandal, and calls for her criminal six months after the disastrous rollout, kathleen sebelius calls it quits. too late for san mateo democrats. views on immigration, what it means for his prospect in 2016. welcome to "the journal editorial report" i'm welcome to the journal editorial report. i'm stewauart varney.
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one house committee voting to refer lois lerner to the justice department for possible criminal prosecution. another voting to hold her in contempt. new evidence emerged suggesting lerner used her position to single out groups for scrutiny and pushed to deny tax exempt status for one of those groups, crossroads gps. for more i'm joined by "wall street journal"ist and columnist, assistant editorial page editor and washington columnist. kim, to you first, if i may. you have a case study of what exactly lois lerner did. >> yes. that's what happened this week really mattered, especially out of the ways and means committee. we finally have an idea of the message lois lerner used to go after these groups. we know in the case of crossroads she focused in on them. she exerted pressure on a group
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to audit them. it appears she exerted pressure on another unit to deny them tax exempt status. it would seem she also inserted herself, which is a big no no in the appeals froze try to quings the group in the irs that handles appeals in the organization to maintain the decisions that her units had laid out. so we now know how she did that. that's important because before it had all been a bit vague. >> that's direct evidence of what she did personally intervening. it's right there. got it. yes? >> yes. >> and i think the other thing that mattered, the committee also put out a time line which also provides a little information about motive. what you see is lots of people, democratic senators, aides, outside groups, all focusing on crossroads, gps and then surprise surprise lois lerner focusing on them. it suggests u.s. highly
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cognizant of the atmosphere and acting on that. >> dan, what caught a lot of people's attention was criminal, as in prosecution. that rach either up the pressure on miss lerner, does it not? >> it does indeed. you can go to prison or if you lie to the fbi during an investigation like this. so she had some real legal exposure for sure and probably others do as well. now, the thing about the camp revelation is that their original defense was it originateed with low level democrats in cincinnati. that is clearly no longer true. this was done by higher ups. if you add in irs counsel said about 80 times in front of this committee he couldn't recall what was going on, you had eric holder justice department leaking that they were not going to prosecute because they saw no reason to prosecute anyone and
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finally the president himself saying there isn't a smidgeon of evidence that any wrongdoing occurred. all of that looks to be an attempt to cover up something very serious going on to shut down these groups. >> james, i think you've spoken to lois lerner's lawyer. >> yes. >> what is her defense? >> it's surprising. obviously she hasn't made a public defense. what he's told us was not that different from the original sort of cover story. rehashed, lower level people making honest mistakes. then questioning whether targeting had been reported by inspector gernl even though he used the word when he testified. it was a bizarre meeting, nothing new in terms of exculpatory evidence. >> do you have any idea who pays his fee? >> that's a good question.
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>> inquiring viewers want to know. >> they do want to know. he's, as you probably know, frequent donner to democratic political candidates. he says he's not getting fees from anyone except her for defense. he also did say she's not paying the normal rate that his -- she's not paying his normally high priced fees. on the other hand it's not pro bono because she's not an indigent. there is a question of her defense and motivation there. >> kim, i get the impression this week irs scandal broke open, blown wide open. am i going too far with that? >> no. i think you're absolutely right. we have more information the way in which it happens, the context it happens. more focus put on, gets to the motive, the amount of interaction senate and housecrad
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with the irs. we, for instance, found out there was a staffer for elijah cummings in the house who had had communications with the irs about these groups. it happened to be a group mr. cummings was targeted and irs was targeting. how much interaction went on. that's an interesting and important question. members of congress calling on regulators to do things, hauling in front of committees, having communication about ongoing action is potentially a big no no. >> dan, do you think this story, the irs scandal, does it still have traction with voters and will it have traction in november? >> i think it does. what's going on here, the government was using internal revenue service, an agency most people are a little bit afraid of. clearly they were sent after these tea party groups. many citizens organizing out in the country and towns and names no one has heard of to do some politics. those groups quit under this intimidation. many disbanded. i think that sort of thing does
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have resonance with voters. it's going too far. >> last word. >> ought to resonate with democrats, too. we don't want to go down a path where the party in power attacks it to the opponent. obama is not going to be president forever. >> wen we come back, the face of obamacare calls it quits. ♪
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(agent) i'll walk you guys through every step. (dad) so if we sell, do you think we can swing it? (agent) i have the numbers right here and based on the comps that i've found, the timing is perfect. ...there's a lot of buyers for a house like yours. (dad) that's good to know. (mom) i'm so excited. six months after the disastrous obamacare rollout, health and human services secretary, kathleen six months after the disastrous rollout, kathleen sebelius stepped down, perhaps just in time. calling it quits before premiums rise during the next obamacare sign-up period. and before the fall elections. we're back with dana henninger and kim strassel and joe raggo also joins the panel. dan, to you first. was she pushed? did she jump and why now?
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>> i think what we know, she actually raised herself the issue of resigning, at least a month ago. and there was undoubtedly unhappiness in the white house with the way she was performing. she had become the face of obamacare. and i think at this point she was probably happy to jump. she had had enough. the question is, who ultimately is going to take political responsibility for the mess of this law? and what we know is that mrs. sebelius by and large was doing what the white house wanted her to do. i mean, it was not her idea that that law should be implemented at the moment when there was no evidence whatsoever that it was going to work. but she did it, she went forward, and she took the slings and arrows for the white house. and now she has gone over the side. >> joe, sylvia burrwell, her likely successor, still has to be confirmed, i think, in front of congress. >> that's right. >> now she's got to deal with the potential for more raising of premiums, the possibility that the insurance companies will need some taxpayer money, i'm not going to call it a bailout, but might need some
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taxpayer money, and more cancellations. she has got a tough job, hasn't she? >> right. we're clearly not out of the woods yet on obamacare implementation. the word out of the white house is everything is fine, let's celebrate. i think this is one of the worst jobs in washington. not only this year, but just in general. but especially this year. and i think you're getting a white house budget official, white house aide filling that role, because they can't bring in somebody of independent stature. who would want this job? >> she's going to have a tough time in the confirmation, i think. very tough questions are going to be asked, i suspect. >> i think so. she was confirmed 96-0 to run the office of management and budget. but hhs is a much different agency. this is a -- it has -- it's a department with a $1 trillion budget, 80,000 employees. the affordable care act says the secretary shall hundreds of times. so it's a much more important job, i think, than budget director. >> let's move to d.c. and kim for the $64,000 political
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question, is it time to save senate democrats? >> well, what is so notable about this is the intensely political nature of the timing of this. when sebelius is leaving. the time to have left would have been last fall when the one of the biggest failures ever happened. they didn't want to acknowledge what a mess it was. so instead they have now waited. they are doing this at a time when there is a lull in the bad news. as far off from the election as they can. and they're putting forward sylvia burwell prec)áq&y because she was confirmed before. so this is all being done so that senate democrats do not have to face a new nominee and have hard questions asked and potentially have to feel like in order to save themselves they have to vote against a nominee. >> okay. >> well, stuart, lets not lose sight of what her tenure represents, the mess of the implementing of this law. the 38 changes in the law. and some of the things along the way. it wasn't ready. but this was the progressives'
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idea of perfect federal legislation. kathleen sebelius, who herself is catholic, presided over the battle with the catholic hospitals who did not want to implement some of the birth control aspects of this, and the fight with the little sisters of the poor. and initially, the message to them was, you've got to do it. you have to comply with this law. which is to say, no matter how much of a mess it was, the idea was we'll just cram it down into the system. and you created this mess. and so they'll -- the idea was, we'll cram it down and clean up the problems later, which is why you had the 38 changes in the law. she presided over that. and we can't just hang it on this woman alone. it's on the idea that the progressives had to put this legislation through. >> may i offer a short word of support for ms. sebelius. number one, she walked into an impossible situation. obamacare is the worst written piece of legislation in a generation. "the journal" said so. and number two, she had to deal with constant white house interruption and interference.
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anybody want to take that one on? joe? >> i'll agree with you, actually. i think in some ways she has gotten a bat rap. as you say, all the major decisions were centralized in the white house now. this is a fox news alert. hello, everyone. in new york. we are getting reports of multiple shootings at a jewish community center in overland park, greater kansas city, before reportedly moving to an assisted living center which is nearby. which report is coming one day before passover, which begins tomorrow at sundown. we're getting details. as wets them we'll bring them to you at fox news. i'll be live at 3:30. in the meantime back to the journal report. she didn't tell him that her college expenses were going up.
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introducing the xfinity my account app. florida governor, jeb bush, raising speculation about his plans for 2016, not to mention the anger of some conservatives with these controversial comments about immigration last weekend at the bush presidential library. >> someone who comes to our country because they couldn'the with these controversial comments about immigration last weekend at the bush presidential library. >> someone who comes to our country because they couldn't come legally, they come to our country because their families -- you know, a dad who loved their children was worried that their children didn't have food on the table. and they -- you know, wanted to make sure their family was intact. yes, they broke the law, but it's not a felony. it's kind of -- it's a -- it's an act of love. >> all right. we are back with dan henninger and kim strassel, "wall street journal" political diary editor, jason rago joins the panel.
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>> he seems to be positioning himself in the republican party on this issue. what is his position in the party? >> i think like his brother, the former president, jeb bush sees immigration as an opportunity, not a problem for the party. and he thinks that immigrants are assets to this country. and he brings a lot to the table here. he's from a very diverse state, a big state. he was a former governor, a very popular two-term governor of that state. and in this case, the bush name, i think, carries a lot of weight with hispanics in the country. he did very well with the hispanic vote. his brother did very well with the hispanic vote. not only as president, but as governor of texas. now, he's got a problem with the base of the party, obviously. but i think these are not insurmountable problems, i think, for jeb. i think if someone can bring the party together on this issue, it's someone like jeb bush. >> kim, how much of a problem does jeb bush have with hard
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core conservatives who oppose any moderation on the immigration issue? >> it is a split in the party, stuart. although it's one i feel, having been down in washington for a while, it is not quite as hot as it was years ago. there is still a faction of the party that really dislikes the idea of any kind of immigration reform. they call it amnesty. they call it all kinds of things. but what you have seen down here is a growing sense among many republicans, a majority of republicans, that, a, immigration reform is necessary. it actually is needed to restore the rule of law. that also this is an important jobs program, which it is. but finally, too, that politically, it's just really crucial that the republican party be seen as a party that is open to immigration, open to so many entrepreneurial voters here who have come here as immigrants and are now on the voting rolls. >> well, dan, what is the future of immigration policy?
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do you think the republicans will take another run at immigration before the election? is that possible? >> well, i don't think we explicitly know the answer to that. but my guess, stuart, is that they will. they will try to pass an immigration reform bill before the election. because i think the leadership would like to get this issue behind them and get it off the table, because they do get hit with it so hard. i mean, look what happened in the last election. mitt romney did get 47% of the vote. but he lost. and the question is, what does the republicans have to do to get across that 50% line. and i think republicans like jeb bush feel that they cannot simply take this entire issue of hispanic voters and asians who voted 70% for barack obama, and simply decide we don't need them. because if they do that, they have to get upwards of 63% of the white vote to win. you're threading a very narrow needle. and i think the republican leadership would like to pass an immigration reform, get it off the table and run on things like the economy, rather than that.
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>> the restrictionist wing of the gop has always been loud. but it's also always been rather small. and, you know, you hear it on talk radio. you hear it on cable news, on the blogosphere. but i think jeb bush's position is actually more representative of your average republican voter. the polls continuously show that most republicans, the majority of republicans, favor comprehensive reform. so i think he's got a very mainstream view within the republican party, despite what you hear coming from the restrictionist wing. >> kim, if you can forget politics for just a second, just for one shining moment, forget it, this is an economic question too, isn't it? business wants immigration reform. republicans surely want growth in the economy. >> well, this is what they talk about day in and day out. and honestly, there are few pieces of legislation that would do more for it. this is about providing flexibility in labor markets. about giving businesses resources they need. it's all about, stuart,
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inviting some of the brightest people in the world into our country to work in our high-tech industry, our defense industry, other things that are only going to help this country. and the longer we keep our get in closed, make it too or so complicated we're constantly fighting a battle about tracking them down, rather than integrating into the society, we are missing out on a lot of those jobs prospects. >> kim, does it look to you like he's running, 2016? >> it's a tough call. i think he's certainly laying some markers out there that would serve him well, were he to decide to run. >> come on, dan. is he running? >> i think he would like to run. there are probably some personal reasons why another bush -- but ultimately, if he can, i think he will. >> jason, last one. >> i do. i think he's running. >> okay. that wraps it up. we do have to take one more break. when we come back, our hits and misses of the week. marge: you know, there's a more enjoyable
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dan, first to you. >> i'm giving a hit to what i'm callg it's time for hits and misses of the week. dan, first to you. >> i'm giving a hit to what i'm calling the cruz-schumer comment. in the senate this week. senator ted cruz, probably as far right as any member of the senate, joined with senator chuck schumer as probably the most cynical democrat in the senate to pass legislation that would ban iran's envoy to the united nations because he was involved in the 1979 hostage crisis. passed the senate unanimously, passed the house unanimously. haylee's comet comes around every 75 years. i never expect to see the cruz-schumer comment. >> very good. jason, your turn. >> this is a mess for the university and its gutless president, who decided to reverse the decision to give an honorary degree to a somali-born political activist who has made a name for herself, being critical of radical islam's treatment of women. she speaks from experience about
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genital mutilation, honor killings, forced marriages and so forth. and muslim apologists here in america objected. the university caved. it's shameless. this woman made a name for herself criticizing the pope over abortion or control over the treatment of palestinians, they would probably give her two degrees. >> i think you're right. james. >> this is unqualified praise for the reverend al sharpton. news came this week that years ago he was an fbi informant against the mob. some mob people, especially new york tap lloyd's have been calling him a rat or saying he just turned when a drug deal and money laundering went bad. but helping put away the mob is by far his greatest contribution to civic life. so -- way to go reverend. >> thumbs up, james. >> right. and remember, if you have your own hit or miss, please send it to us at and be sure to follow us on twitter @jeronfnc. that's it for this week's show. thanks to my panel and to all of you for watching.
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i'm stuart varney. you can catch me weekdays on varney & company 11:00 a.m. eastern sharp on fox business network. paul is back next week. hope you can join us then. ♪ a fox news alert. i'm arthel neville. we're getting reports of multiple shootings at a community center in overland park in kansas city. opening fire in kansas city. this is happening, keep in mind, before the shooter is then going on to an assisted living center which is nearby. this report is coming one day before pass over, which begins tomorrow at sundown. joining me now from the phone, former d.c. homicide detectives rod wheeler is here. rod, when you first hear this, you've got


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